Some things need a proper pairing to really shine. Popcorn and movies, for example, or wine and charcuterie. One of the finest examples, though, is the pairing of food trucks and cities that allow open containers.
It’s the unicorn of the food and beverage pairing world — a city must have both a vibrant food truck scene and open container laws, which isn’t an easy match. Thanks to food regulations that restrict gourmet food on wheels in some cities, and the more ubiquitous laws that keep people from cracking a cold one in public, there are limited opportunities to match food truck delights with curbside drinks.
Let the pairing drought end now. Here are the top food-truck cities that allow open containers, and the best drinks that to along with them.
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If you’ve ever spent a summer in the South, you know why being able to open a beer in the middle of the day is a necessity. A number of quality food trucks make the open container law just as important the rest of the year. Try Divine Eatery’s chicken and waffle sandwich with a chocolate Porter or a strong coffee stout. Or go with the fish and chips from Molly Macpherson’s Food Truck, which pairs nicely with a pale ale or an American macro lager like Pabst Blue Ribbon. For something more in line with Southern sea food, head to Mr Deviled Crab Man and drink a pilsner or a gose.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas may be most known for the Strip, but the City of Sin has a burgeoning food truck scene that fits in just fine with Clark County’s lack of an open container law. Hit up Fukuburger and buy a Tiger Beer to go with the wasabi mayo and Japanese barbecue sauce-laced Asian burger. For something more esoteric, go to Stripchezze and get mac-and-cheese egg rolls with kimchi sauce paired with a saison, or a Pair-O-Dice Pizza (above) paired with a hoppy pilsner. If you want something a little more familiar, grab a New England American lager (like Narragansett) and a lobster roll from Cousins Maine Lobster.
Fredericksburg has fewer options in the food truck department than it does in the drinks department. In fact, there’s really only one food truck you can count on: West End On Wheels. Don’t leave it out of the equation, though. Grab an IPA to go with the pizza (or if you’re not into IPAs, pair it with a wheat ale).
New Orleans, Louisiana
The Big Easy is easily one of the best-known open container cities in the United States. It also has a relatively new, but already thriving, food truck scene. Start with street tacos and avocado fries at Taceaux Loceaux Truck and pair it with a Mexican lager. Another option is to grab a Sapporo or Kirin and a bahn mi at Saigon Slim’s. One option you can’t get on many other food trucks: St. Clair Wood Fired Pizza, which has an actual wood fire on the truck. Try one with goat cheese and pair it with a pilsner or a Kolsch.
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri, has one caveat to the whole drinking in public thing: You can only do it in what is known as the Power and Light District. That said, you may have to grab food and take it to the area, but there are food trucks that hang around close by. Try a Cubano from the Plantain District with an American pale ale. For something a little different, get a Choopercabra or Mojo meat pie from Pie Hole and pair it with a Mexican lager for the former, and a red ale for the latter.